There comes a time in every adult’s life when the thought of moving to a smaller, easier-to-care-for home sounds attractive. Maybe it’s just the two of you. Maybe you don’t want that big house. Whatever your reasons, you are moving from a large home to a smaller one, which means taking stock of and getting rid of your stuff. How? We have some ideas.
How Small is Small?
Not everyone’s definition of small is the same. You could be moving from a five-bedroom house to a three-bedroom house or a three-bedroom home to one with only two bedrooms. Maybe it’s still a three-bedroom house, but you no longer have a formal living room or game room. The point is you have to have an idea about what you want before starting to declutter.
Don’t Start After You Sell Your Home
It’s tempting to hold off on downsizing until after you sell your old home. Resist. Downsizing takes time. Time you won’t have if you have to be out of the house in 30 days (not to mention having to do it while you are setting up things your new home.) If you have to pack fast, you will invariably pack things you don’t need. Start early.
Start With Easy Rooms
When it’s time to get serious about decluttering, don’t start with your favorite room. Why? Because all of your favorite stuff is in it. You won’t pack anything and won’t feel very accomplished. Leave the kitchen and garage for later. Those are big jobs. You will feel overwhelmed. Start with utility rooms, guest rooms and the kids’ bedrooms (if they have moved out).
Organize Your Piles
You know how it goes. Have a box for what you want to keep, what you want to store and what you want to giveaway. Guess what? You probably won’t have a lot of space to store things. Unless you plan to rent a storage unit, plan for this pile to be the smallest. Don’t keep things because you might need them. You probably won’t and if you do you can by a new one.
If You Haven’t Used It, Lose It
We all have places we keep things we don’t use but can’t seem to get rid of. Maybe it’s a clock Aunt Ethel gave you as a wedding gift 50 years ago. Maybe it’s a chair that never really worked and is sitting in the guest room. Maybe it’s a ton of children’s toys in the garage. Whatever it is, if you haven’t used it in the past two years, you aren’t going to. It’s time to let it go.
Do You Need Two?
We all have duplicates of things. They are usually in the kitchen. For some reason we buy new pots, pans and cookie sheets but can’t say goodbye to the old ones. Now is the time. Evaluate your duplicates. Are they in good shape? See if a friend or family member wants them. Bad shape? They should go to the dump.
The closer you get to the move, the harder it becomes to give stuff away because a lot of things will have sentimental value. Pack what you really love and consider giving the rest to family members. Invite children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to help you sort through stuff. Your children may wonder why you saved stuff and your grandchildren may love that vintage-looking side table.
How Do You Want to Live?
You bought your new home for a reason. Maybe front lawn maintenance is taken care of so you can travel, something our residents in Bonterra at Woodforest enjoy. Maybe it has a nice big flex room you can turn into a home office. You bought it because it will help you live the way you plan to live. Don’t ruin it by moving stuff you won’t need for that new life. Imagine doing what you love and then ask yourself if you need the furniture, you are currently looking at to do it. If you don’t toss it.
Make the Move to Woodforest
Remember that first thing? Knowing what you want. Come to Woodforest to find out. Our builders have floor plans that are beautiful, thoughtfully laid out and sure to meet your need for an attractive, smaller home with ample storage. Those age 55 and up might want to consider Bonterra, which offers single-story, reasonably sized floor plans built with older adults in mind. World-class amenities allow you to feel like you live at a resort. It’s easy to make new friends at one of the many planned activities. Downsizing never looked so good.